Happy Hour at Sanctuari Bar

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

You know what else I'm losing my mind over? The ri.di.cu.lous Happy Hour at Triniti's Sanctuari Bar.

But before we go any further, I suppose it's worth noting that my blog has a new address and new look! It's now living at www.adventuresinanewishcity.com! I'm super pumped about this.

Now onto Sanctuari!

First let me apologize in advance for the terrible quality of photos I've got going on here in this post. The ambiance of the place is super intimate and dimly lit, which is not conducive to my amateur photography skills. Just know that everything you're about to see was 1,000 times more beautiful that it appears!

(like that mirror).

If you haven't noticed, my good friend Megan is generally my go-to Houston Happy Hour partner in crime. So she and I decided to hit up the new and much-buzzed about Santuari Bar at Triniti last Thursday. I had been to Triniti once about a year ago, but deleted all of my photos in a fit of technological bird-brainedness, so I found myself visiting there recently with a clean slate, a new bar, and a fresh fall menu!

First off, Happy Hour isn't truly a happy hour without a few libations. And Megan was completely transfixed by the $12 mystery carafe on Sanctuari's Happy Hour menu. "What's in it?" she asked the bartender. "It's a secret," he said, with a gleam in his eye. And I'm all, "Okay, I'd like to order a gin marti-" and Megan's all, "WE'RE GETTING THE MYSTERY CARAFE."

So mystery carafe it was! We talked to the bartender about each of our preferences - She likes sweet, I like dry, is that impossible?, no, etc., and he came back with an amazing little concoction of hop gin, strawberry liquor, lemon, sugar, and prosecco, which he just made up on the spot. Light and sweet, yet dry, it was the perfect compromise and the perfect way to start out that happy hour.

Megan: Mmm, this is GOOD! Would you like to try the "mystery drink"??

(The bartender politely declined.)

(And no, we don't typically offer strangers a sip of our drinks. Apparently that's frowned upon).

Why, yes I took a picture of the super cool bathroom to show you! In the words of Canadian poet genius Bryan Adams, Everything I do, I do it for you...

Triniti is a pretty fancy Houston restaurant - one that would be a "special occasion" restaurant for me were I to dine off of their dinner menu. Luckily, like so many other fancy Houston restaurants, Triniti offers one helluva a food menu at Sanctuari during Happy Hour. AND there is a "small plates" section on Triniti's regular dinner menu that offers decently priced sharable food items.

We were faced with a wide spectrum of potential dishes to taste. Since we (undoubtedly) looked like two deer caught in a headlight, the super friendly manager came over and had an in-depth conversation with us about the food. After much deliberation, we took his advice and ordered three apps to share.

The first item we ordered was a mushroom flatbread that included potatoes, corn, and greens. And some sort of delicious caramely sauce (balsamic? chutney? love?). This dish was outstanding and so beautifully textured with different levels of flavor. It was tangy, sweet, and utterly decadent. I definitely 100% recommend ordering this as a starter if you go.

Oh, I just love french fries.

ESPECIALLY the herb frites at Sanctuari. Perfectly crispy and salted, they definitely stand out among the vast array of delicious fries in Houston. And the aioli served with them was tart, tangy, slightly spicy, and downright heavenly!

The last appetizer we shared was the tomato soup, served with a pimento cheese kolache (um, hello lover) and eggplant jam. I can think of nothing more brilliant and creative than a fancy grilled cheese sandwich with fancy tomato soup. The perfect little puff of an oozing kolache was the ideal compliment to the creamy, rich, soul-warming soup. The tomato soup was not too acidic, and overall it was quite the delightful nosh.

Still riding her mystery carafe high, Megan decided dessert was a good choice (I mean, is dessert ever a bad choice?).

We ordered their special fall dessert, which was a tart with a pumpkin pie-like filling, topped with a different assortment of goodies, such as pomegranate seeds (no I don't actually know the name of the dessert, or what else was on it, because I didn't write the name down, and it's not listed online, and I've failed you as a food blogger, and FORGIVE ME PLEASE.) But this was good. The dessert wasn't overly sweet, which I liked, and it was a subtly unique departure from your regular pumpkin pie (which for the record, I LOVE). I wasn't completely floored by it like I was with everything else, but it was smooth, comforting, and it definitely tasted like fall!

The Happy Hour at Sanctuari Bar really hits it out of the park. With everything we ordered, our bill came out to about $40, but with the delicate detail that went into each unique, innovative dish, the price should have been double or even triple the actual amount. If you're looking to try some of Houston's finest, most exquisite food on a budget, Sanctuari is definitely the way to go!

Wishing everyone a warm, love-filled, delicious, and happy Thanksgiving!

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